Planning a wedding is a big project to undertake and I find that most couples struggle with getting started. The biggest piece of getting started is vendor selection. How do you know who to pick and can you trust that you've made the right decision? Here are some tips that we've learned along the way and would love to pass on to you.
First impressions are important!
You can tell a lot about a vendor by the first impression. Did they respond to you in a timely manner? Do they conduct themselves professionally and take care when communicating back and forth with you? Are they on time and prepared for your first meeting? Do they seem organized? All of these things can be very telling when you're deciding whether or not someone is a good fit for you.
Do they fit your style? Are they able to cater to diversity?
I am a firm believer that a vendor's website and their social media accounts, like Facebook and Instagram, are a good indicator of their style. Do they have examples of their own weddings on their website that are diverse? Are they open to different types of events including many different styles? Make sure that you are able to see real examples of their work and that it is apparent that they are open to new things. In this day and age it's easy to give false appearances on the web, but if you're a savvy shopper you should be able to sift through these to find real and good quality.
Listen to recommendations but also trust your gut.
When your family and friends hear of your engagement they'll be inundating you with recommendations. This can be good and bad. Make sure that you really listen to why they liked certain vendors to be sure they fit within your own guidelines and what you wish to get out of the relationship. Not everyone has the same ideas or reasons for hiring someone so be sure you are hiring people that best fit you and your needs. It's also a good idea to use this information to your benefit! You'll be able to ask people questions who have had firsthand experience and can tell you the positives and negatives of their experience! At the end of the day trust your gut, literally, when making the ultimate decision. No matter what you've been told.
Find people who are passionate about their trade.
Passion is so important in this business! My passion for design and love of relationship building drive me everyday to offer the best end result that I possibly can for all of my couples. You can tell immediately when someone is passionate about what they do and those are the vendors who will work hard to give you the best quality product that they possibly can. Find people who are excited to be a part of your wedding and who want to work with you creatively to make a spectacular event.
Be very wary of "fluff!"
If someone makes a big "to do" about how fantastic they are or stresses that they are the best, guess what? That probably isn't the case. If it seems like they say yes to everything and promise you the moon and stars, just run! A reputable vendor will set guidelines for your well being and benefit. I've been working in the wedding industry for 15 years and the best vendors I've ever had the pleasure of teaming up with are people who are humble about their product and very comfortable and confident in what they do. Fluff is also is a warning sign that they may not be a team player. To make a wedding fantastic everyone has to work together and play nice. An attitude of knowing everything can really make things difficult and it just adds unnecessary stress to the process! Good vendors treat every situation as an opportunity to learn from others and participate together.
Hire vendors who fit within your budget.
We all know that budget is huge! It's a deciding factor in many situations. Make sure you're perusing a vendor's website or gathering information from them ahead of time to ensure that their pricing fits within your budget. This alleviates wasting any of your time and there won't be any unwanted surprises down the line.
It's perfectly ok to shop around!
I would love it if I was the best fit for every single person who came across my path! The truth is, I'm not. I cannot stress enough how important it is to shop around for your vendors and find people who you are comfortable with in terms of pricing, style, personality type, etc. Planning a wedding takes a village and you want to go on the journey with a strong team and feel confident with everyone that you're working with. When you are "shopping" just be sure to be polite and courteous and let vendors know you are still in the information gathering phase and need more information before you make a decision. If you approach this kindly and with full disclosure a good vendor will not be offended and they'll be happy to share their products or services with you regardless.